12 Sightseeing Spots in Chubu! att.JAPAN’s Top Picks All the Best Things to Do in Japan Vol. 3
- 41. Have fine views of Kurobe Gorge from Torokko Train
- 42. Taste delicious fatty kanburi at Toyama Bay
- 43. Get into the white snow world at “Yuki no Otani”
- 44. Take photos in front of Buddha statues all along a wall
- 45. Amaze karakuri mechanism at Ninja-dera Temple in Kanazawa
- 46. Walk around the warm friendly town of Hida Takayama
- 47. Dance through the night at Gujo Hachiman
- 48. Travel on a classic steam locomotive of Oigawa Railway
- 49. Stray into back alleys in Atami
- 50. Relish every bite of hitsumabushi in Nagoya
- 51. Watch a huge hand-held fireworks display at Toyohashi Gion Festival
- 52. Stroll in the historic town in Shikemichi
The multilingual free magazine att.JAPAN launched in the year 2000 and with this edition, proudly marks its 100th issue. Over the past 23 years, through firsthand reporting, we have brought the best of Japan to the world, from classic sightseeing spots to little known hidden gems, from food culture to festivals and performing arts.
att.JAPAN’s editors know every corner of this country, and here have selected 100 experiences they hope every traveler to Japan can try. Have faith in these recommendations as everything here was directly experienced by members of our team at att.JAPAN. You’re sure to uncover a new side to this island nation, and open the door to unforgettable experiences.
Whether you’re a first-time traveler wondering where to start, or a seasoned, well-traveled fan of the country, read on to find the perfect something for you! Find out what our writers found most moving, and one piece of personal advice learned from their experience! Have you been to the same place?
Please post on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #attjapan100!
41. Have fine views of Kurobe Gorge from Torokko Train
“Kurobe Gorge Torokko Train” takes about 80 minutes one way to run through Kurobe Gorge, the reportedly deepest V-shaped ravine in Japan. From the window of the train, you can fully appreciate the wilderness of Kurobe Gorge. While the area is surely popular during the autumn foliage season, it is recommended to visit earlier around September when it is a bit quieter. The train is out of service from December to mid-April.
★You will feel like you are on a ride at a theme park!
Fee：Unazuki Sta. – Keyakidaira Sta. round trip 3,960 yen (Adult)
|Address||11 Kurobe Kyokokuguchi, Kurobe City, Toyama|
|Access||Unazuki-Onsen Sta. Toyama Chihou Railway) → 5 min walk|
42. Taste delicious fatty kanburi at Toyama Bay
The Himi area in Toyama Prefecture is famous for kanburi winter yellowtail from the Sea of Japan. There are various ways to enjoy kanburi, such as shabushabu and kama-yaki grilled collar, and I recommend “kanburi-don.” With sashimi slices of kanburi arranged in the shape of a flower on rice, this dish is not only delicious but also beautiful. You have to try kanburi-don with really fresh fish at Uoichiba Shokudo in the Himi Fishing Port.
★The fish is not too fatty and has a nice, light taste!
|Address||435 Himi-machi Himi City, Toyama (Himi fishing port fish market 2F)|
|Access||JR Himi Sta. → 15 min walk|
|Business hours||6:30-15:00 (weekdays, national holidays), 6:30-15:30 (Sat, Sun)|
|Regular holiday||January 1-3|
43. Get into the white snow world at “Yuki no Otani”
The spring feature of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, one of the longest mountain sightseeing routes in the world, which goes through the Hida Mountains, is “Yuki no Otani.” It is an enormous wall of snow created after snow plowing, which is as high as 20 meters. You will be surprised by the white snow world that you come across right after the fresh green at the bottom of the mountain! You can get there by cable car and bus, so you won’t have to worry even if you don’t have stamina to walk up there.
|Access||Dentetsu-Toyama Sta. → 60 min by train → Tateyama Sta. / JR Shinano Omachi Sta. → 40 min by bus → Ogizawa|
44. Take photos in front of Buddha statues all along a wall
Taishizan Seidaiji Temple in Katsuyama City is a magnificent temple with a statue of the Great Buddha of 17 meters in seated height, which is taller than the one in Todaiji Temple, Nara Prefecture. Surrounding this Great Buddha statue, more than 1,200 statues of Buddha are arrayed all along a wall, which are supposed to invite people to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, creating an overwhelming view. Visiting in early morning is recommended as there are fewer visitors.
Fee: Adult 500 yen
|Address||1-1 Katase 50, Katsuyama City, Fukui|
|Access||Katsuyama Sta. Echizen Railway → 20 min by community bus|
|Business hours||8:00-17:00 (varies during winter season)|
|Regular holiday||Open 365 days (May have temporary closure during winter season)|
45. Amaze karakuri mechanism at Ninja-dera Temple in Kanazawa
Kanazawa is called “little Kyoto.” Just minutes away from the traditional streetscapes, you can find Myoryuji Temple, which is also called Ninja-dera Temple. The temple once served as a fort, so it has various types of mechanisms to protect from enemies from outside, such as hidden doors and hidden stairs. A tour guide will lead you through the maze-like inside (reservation required in advance).
Fee: Adult 1,200 yen (cash only)
* For safety reasons, only those in age from elementary school children and above can join the temple tour.
Please show the IDs such as passports for elementary school children.
|Address||1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa|
|Access||JR Kanazawa Sta. → 15 min by taxi|
|Regular holiday||Please contact by telephone|
46. Walk around the warm friendly town of Hida Takayama
Takayama City still has old-style streets, with various types of shops, including long-established liquor shops, miso shops, ramen shops, and restaurants serving Hida Beef. The Miyagawa Morning Market is held every day. In the town, you can hear lively voices of local people throughout the day, which makes you want to stay there indefinitely. Such a feature is said to stem from the culture of the area to welcome visitors from far away, as it is located deep in the mountains.
|Access||JR Nagoya Sta. → 2 hr 20 min by limited express → Takayama Sta|
47. Dance through the night at Gujo Hachiman
Gujo City, which prospered as the castle town of Gujo Hachiman Castle, is famous for “Gujo Odori” dance festival, which has been held for more than 400 years. The festival lasts over 30 nights from mid-July to mid-September. During the festival period, the most exciting event is called “tetsuya odori,” which literally means “dance through the night,” where people dance through the night until the next morning for four days from August 13 to 16. Tourists can freely join the dance if they want.
|Address||Around Hachiman-cho, Gujo City, Gifu|
|Access||Gujo-Hachiman Nagaragawa Railway → 20 min walk|
48. Travel on a classic steam locomotive of Oigawa Railway
Running through the middle area of Shizuoka Prefecture, Oigawa Railway features actively-working old passenger cars and trains, including steam locomotives from the 1930s to 1940s. Through a window of the train with an interior that makes you feel like you have travelled back in time, you can enjoy a view of houses along the river, lush green mountains, and tea fields, which is really unique to Japan, in a relaxing atmosphere.
* Due to damages brought about by a typhoon in 2022, the train route is currently shortened.
★The whistles and smoke of the steam locomotive make a powerful impression! On a train with a warm wooden interior, I felt like I was a main character of an old novel or movie, on a journey.
Fee： From 1,690 yen (varies on the section)
|Access||JR Kanaya Sta. → Transfer to Oigawa Railway →Shin-Kanaya Sta Oigawa Railway|
49. Stray into back alleys in Atami
In Atami, one of the most popular onsen areas in eastern Japan, many people walk towards the ocean while eating something and strolling through the bustling shopping street in front of the station. You should, however, try wandering off onto one of the small side streets. In contrast with the bustle of the station area, you will find yourself in one of the small alleys, which are so labyrinthian that only the local people use them. Enjoy the quiet retro atmosphere of the port town area.
|Access||JR Atami Sta. → 5 min walk|
50. Relish every bite of hitsumabushi in Nagoya
Hitsumabushi is Nagoya’s signature eel dish. The dish is served with small grilled pieces of eel topped on rice and you put some of it into a small bowl and eat it in three rounds. It is said that the first portion should be enjoyed as it is, the second should be with some condiments, such as chopped negi leek and wasabi, and the third should be savored with dashi soup as unachazuke. However, you can enjoy it as you like!
★I don’t eat it with soup because I want to enjoy the crispy texture of grilled unagi to the end!
51. Watch a huge hand-held fireworks display at Toyohashi Gion Festival
A view of tezutsu (hand-held) fireworks of the Higashi-Mikawa area of Aichi Prefecture is just spectacular! Men of the festival hold fireworks paraphernalia including launching tubes under their arms, set off fireworks, and let the sparks rain down all over them, creating an imposing fireworks festival. Toyohashi City is said to be the birthplace of this fireworks, and hosts an annual “Toyohashi Gion Matsuri” festival in July, where about 350 tubes of tezutsu fireworks are launched.
★The fireworks make loud blasts in the finale! It is so loud, so if you are not OK with loud noises, you may need ear plugs.
|Address||Yoshida Shrine: 2 Sekiya-cho, Toyohashi City, Aichi|
|Access||Yoshida Shrine: Toyohashi Sta. JRMeitetsu→ tram → Shiyakusho-mae stop → 8 min walk|
|Business hours||Held 3 days from 3rd Friday of July every year|
52. Stroll in the historic town in Shikemichi
Located 15 minutes on foot from Nagoya Station, Shikemichi is a highly recommended area for strolling. The area was originally established as a merchant town around Nagoya Castle; therefore, you can still see remnants of the historical townscape. The area has stylish cafes in renovated old folk houses and less-known good restaurants, too, so you will be able to find your favorite place easily!
|Address||Nagono, Nishi-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi|
|Access||Nagoya Sta. JRSubway, Kintetsu, Meitetsu, Aonami Line→ 15 min walk|